Rep. Mike Pence yesterday announced plans to introduce a bill in the House of Representatives that would simultaneously secure America’s borders and establish a temporary worker program to help fill jobs in America.
This novel and practical approach will link the need to secure our borders and add a temporary labor component. Workers would be allowed to apply for jobs through a private agency. Once hired, they would be issued a credit card-sized identification card that stores the worker’s biometric data.
“The fact is 85%-90% of people crossing our borders illegally just want to work. They have no intention of becoming American citizens, they have committed no other crime and pose no security risk. If they are moved to a simple legal path to enter as temporary workers, border control would be much easier and more effective,” said Helen Krieble, President and CEO of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation.
When a worker’s employment has ended, they will return to their home countries. Under this plan, anyone working in this country illegally would have to return home to become a legal worker under U.S. law. If this bill becomes law, illegal workers will be able to come out of the shadows, to bargain for a reasonable wage, to gain medical attention and other services.
“Most such workers would rather be legal, but two all-powerful incentives keep them illegal and underground: a bureaucratic system they know doesn’t work, and an artificial limit on their number,” said Ms. Krieble. “The answer to both has been in front of us all along. Let the free market work and our economy can remain strong while our nation becomes more secure. We commend Rep. Pence for showing Congress how to solve this problem.”
As a Colorado rancher who has hired temporary workers, Ms. Krieble developed the plan as a conservative solution to bridge the divide in the immigration debate.